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My Favorite Blog Posts of 2015

As a guy who has been blogging over the course of the last five years it is heartening to see stats rise from 1,500 views in 2010 to over 33,000 in 2015. But, and I presume my fellow bloggers will concur, the most popular blog posts arent neccessarily the ones the writer loves, adores or sweated over. So I give you my favorite posts of the year, even if they didn’t get the attention I wished they did.

snl40It’s Time For Your SNL Moment – Love it or hate it Saturday Night Live’s 40thanniversary show can serve as inspiration for your next radio event.

Curse of Subjective Adjectives – This is a phenomenal blog post; it’s fun, insightful, sensational, great, super, terrific, and awesome. Depending on who you are.

Paul KayeAirchecks. Dreaded Airchecks. – One of the issues that I hear from talent quite a bit is how airchecks suck. They dread them. Talent feel like they’ve been slimed by negativity afterwards when they just want some support, strategy and a plan to improve. They know what sucked. How do you fix it?

Secrets to Podcasting Success – In May 2014, Anna Sale launched the podcast “Death, Sex & Money” from the studios of WNYC. In the 10 months that has followed, Anna’s podcast has hit #1 on iTunes and she’s learned a ton about producing a successful podcast. Lucky for us she shared her revelations at Radiodays Europe and with the Radio Stuff Podcast.

What Do You Do With An Idea? – In recent weeks, clients have been sharing with me the anxieties associated with following their gut or executing on an idea.

RS 100 coverInside Radio Stuff #100 – How I landed the interview with Jonathon Brandmeier and how it all came together.

Broadcast Interview Scruples – The relationship between a broadcaster and an interview subject has triggered my curiosity. Let me tell you why.

Cirque du Radio – I was at the show Kooza last night and saw this awesome assembly of remarkable talent. It’s a really, really talented troupe. A couple things struck me as it relates to radio

Here’s The Thing About Breaking News

LGM - Breaking News2If you are going to go into “breaking news” coverage – own it. That’s the thing about breaking news. At least that is my thing about breaking news.

If a talent asks me, “Did we do too much on the breaking news story?” My answer will almost certainly be, “impossible.”

When a story warrants being called “breaking news” you have two effective options: mention it and let the newsroom update it in regular newscasts or dive head first in to it. The middle ground is the least desirable option. “Kinda” covering breaking news is as satisfying as eating something that “kinda” reminds you of gravy.

The Oregon High School shooting is a perfect example. If it’s not in your backyard, your state or even in your country can you do too much with it? I contend no, not when the story is still developing. If you make it important and urgent, keep resetting the facts, add new details and information as you can and then express emotions and explore questions and curiosities – no one is tuning out. Humans have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. We all want to be the first to know and we want to know more than our friends, family members and peers.

On a strategic point, breaking news is an audience builder for news-talk and sports radio stations. It’s better than an outdoor billboard campaign. It instantly brings new ears to your station. That in-the-heat-of-the-moment sampling can be extremely rewarding if you are covering the story as described above and equally punishing if you are not.

When news breaks it is a nice, juicy sizzling steak dinner for spoken word radio, don’t let it become the lumpy gravy.

The Real Difference Between Colin Cowherd & Dan Patrick

Patrick v Cowherd 3It is well documented now that ESPN’s Colin Cowherd and DirecTV’s Dan Patrick have their differences. But, this article isn’t about which guy displays superior work ethic. This is about how truly unique and differently talented they are.

As background: I worked with both guys at the ESPN radio network in the early 2000’s. I arrived as a program director in Bristol, CT in January 2005. I oversaw four shows; Mike & Mike, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, The Dan Patrick Show and SportsBash with Erik Kuselias. At that time, Cowherd was still relatively new. He replaced Tony Kornheiser in 2003. Patrick’s show was the established show and evolving; Rob Dibble was let go in December 2004.

Creator vs. Reactor

What I discovered after working with both hosts is that they are different animals. Colin is a natural creator. He’s constantly writing, working on angles and metaphors, and figuring out where sports and life naturally interconnect. He would bounce ideas off of anybody who would listen. He’d come to my office and throw a few things at me, gauge my reaction, grab a piece of candy and be on his way. His goal is to provoke you, to make you think differently or as he told me in an interview on Radio Stuff, “be interesting.” He’s an extrovert who will talk your ear off.

Dan is a classic reactor. He loves hearing what other people have to say; friends, callers, producers, commissioners and then parse it for what’s interesting, find inconsistencies, and explore it further. He’s rather introverted, formulating thoughts, opinions and angles internally. He’s a collaborator whose opinions are often masked through his curiosity. In show meetings, we would stand around in the bullpen and throw topics and suggested angles at him. If you didn’t have anything to contribute, you weren’t needed. Even me. He would stand there, listen and react. When we started working together he would open each show with 5 or 6 big questions. His true opinions, suppressed for years behind an anchor desk, were apparent only by the phrasing of the questions. He’s evolved, but that is where his strength lies. That’s why guests, regular contributors and the “Danettes” are so valuable to his show. He lets them shine, because he loves reacting to them.

The difference is exactly how this “feud” has played out. Colin ripped Dan for his work ethic and Dan responded.

Creators and reactors are equally talented and valuable to a radio station. It’s more complicated than this, but in essence; Colin creates unique content, Dan curates unique content. Keep in mind, Dan’s ability to react is what makes him so effective during live TV broadcasts whether it’s the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or SportsCenter. Colin’s skill as creative opinion-maker allows him to be more of a character on radio which opened doors for him on TV, Pixar, and writing a book.

They’re both smart guys, they both have healthy egos (which is a critical element for their jobs), they both work at their craft and demand excellence around them, and they both are finding success beyond their radio shows.

It was an honor to work with and learn from them and I hope over time they can put aside this pettiness and be comfortable with each other’s success. There is plenty of room for everyone at the sports buffet.

I also discuss this and play audio of the feud in Episode 88 of the Radio Stuff Podcast.


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